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Developer Interview - Kiwibird

April 4, 2015 | Etaew | Viewed 6,303 times | Developer Interview,

In our fourth interview we look at someone who helps improve our experience as players. Community Team member Kiwibird, who manages Trion's social media profile, is someone that we communicate with a lot on the forums.

Can you introduce yourself?

Hi there! I’m Sarah “Kiwibird” Walters and I’m a part of the Trion Worlds Community Team. I first started working at Trion Worlds back when Defiance was still in Alpha testing and I started out as GM Kiwibird. If you’ve been with Defiance from the start, you might remember me from my days back on our Support Team! 

I was introduced to the Trion Worlds communities as CM Kiwibird on February 20, 2014. Time flies! I’m still here and I’ve learned a lot working with our Community Team and Trion Worlds.

What do you do in Defiance?

 You’ll see me on the forums, but you’ll mostly see me on our social media channels! I’ve been working on our Defiance Developer Q&As for quite a while and that’s definitely one of my favorite features! I’ve made suggestions, worked with the community to find solutions, and submitted important feedback to the Developers in my time at Trion Worlds. If there’s a task and someone wants me to take it, I do!

How did you start working for Trion?

I applied! I came in for an interview and I was doing great until they asked me what would make me stand out as a candidate. I completely froze and said that I make really, really good cupcakes. 

To be fair, I do make really good cupcakes and that’s a great trait to have!

You started out working in Support, how was that compared to the Community Team?

Working on the Trion Worlds Support Team was a blast! We have a lot of great people over on our Support Team. Everyone would always yell “NO RUNNING” at me when I’d run to the break room for a soda. I’d have to be quick because I never wanted to leave anyone waiting for too long! Fortunately, I’m very quick so no one ever noticed. Shhh. Don’t tell. 

I still run to the break room. I just enjoy running, I have a lot of energy.

What's it like meeting players during community events?

 It’s great! I’ve always had a blast at community events. I especially love meeting the younger crowd, it’s so interesting to see the next generation of game enthusiasts! I hope they’ll be able to remember those events fondly when they’re older. If you’ve seen the video from PAX, you can spot me in the beginning with Trick and Phantasie. My arm makes a special appearance towards the end because I shoved all the temporary Trion Worlds tattoos I got on there!

Yes, I lift.

You are super active on the forums!

 Forum communication is something we’re all involved with, and I’m very passionate about it! You’d find me all over the forums back when I was a GM. You’ll find me more on social media these days, but I’m around and I frequently post on our forums. As for why I started, I just really wanted to help engage and improve our Defiance community.

I’ve also been very fond of PMs! When I first started, I was used to one-on-one interaction so I’d stray away to PMs to help find solutions for players. I’m still very fond of those, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need our help. That’s what we’re here for! :)

So why are you in Austin, when the Defiance team is in Redwood?

Sure! It’s because I started out working at the Trion Worlds Austin location and I applied for a position in Redwood City. It was decided that having the right person for the job was more important than having me out at the Redwood City offices.

You spread your time between several games, do you find that difficult?

 It’s a bit tough, but it’s all that I know! Fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to work with a great team of more experienced Community Managers. They’ve helped me adjust and manage my time more efficiently.

What's it like working in the Austin offices?

  It’s a great work environment, everyone is very friendly. One time my parrot wouldn’t get off of me when I needed to run to the office so he tagged along. 

It’s the kind of environment where people probably wouldn’t question a parrot. One time I came into work covered in chocolate and cake because the chocolate volcano cake I brought in kind of exploded all over my car and me. In my defense, it was a great cake and people enjoyed the parts that didn’t explode everywhere.

What are the most challenging, and enjoyable parts of your job?

  Prioritizing tasks has always been a bit tough for me. I have a bad habit of trying to do everything at once, and sometimes things get lost in the mix as a result. I don’t like losing track of anything so that’s definitely a challenge. 

The most enjoyable aspect of my position is getting to work directly with our community and the Defiance team. I always wanted to be able to work with the community and I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to do so!

What is your typical workday like?

 I work right by our Web QA team so I usually stop to say hello to that team or throw some nerf darts at them. Same difference, right? Right. Once I’m at my desk, I step it up a notch. I usually start out by reviewing emails or checking in to see how previous posts have performed. From there, I’ll jump onto Tweetdeck and get to tweeting. If there’s any news that needs to be shared, I’ll be drafting posts for that. If there’s a livestream, I’ll get involved in moderation to keep the chat on topic. You’ll see me on there as @Kiwibirding! If you’re a fan of Trove, you probably know that you’ve got to get past me to get Robo Raptor keys, so I check and review streams when I have time to do so. 

Aside from the above, I’m usually keeping an eye out for anything that I might need to alert the team about. If I find any bugs that I believe need immediate attention, I’ll ping the appropriate Devs to get the ball rolling there. Beyond that, I mostly just take care of our social media channels! That might not sound like a lot, but managing our social media channels can be quite time consuming! Sometimes it will involve drafting and producing articles, which is something I definitely enjoy! I’ve bugged our web team wizards a lot in my time here.


Outside of work, what are your hobbies?

Well, I like Netflix and birds. I’m very crafty and I do enjoy a good book. When I’m at home, I spend a lot of time with my parrot and my dog. I usually settle in for a good gaming session with my parrot on my shoulder and my dog in my lap. It’s a bit of a crowded setup but it’s very warm.

I’ve had a lot of hobbies, but I collect them and don’t stick to them frequently after I’ve gotten past a certain skill threshold. I’d say I’m a collector. You never know what’s going to be useful! So far, I haven’t found a significant use for lost wax casting in my day to day life, but I’ll keep at it. It’s bound to be useful at some point.

What are you most proud of in your work with the Defiance community?

I think we’ve had great success with the Defiance forums. I remember the reaction when I first came to Defiance. I don’t think you guys trusted me at first, but you welcomed me. I remember. Building this level of trust with the Defiance community has been big for me.

What's on your desk?

 I have a terrifying mechanical Mew doll hanging out in the corner, a Star Wars journal, a print out of a Hellbug drawing I did, an assortment of teas, and tissues. I’m particularly fond of matcha and white chai teas. 

On the Mew doll, the eyes move and it twitches around if you turn it on. It also talks! Mew was one of my favorite Pokemon when I was little.

What's your favourite looking outfit?

You pick tough questions, Etaew. Killing me here. I’d have to say Dark Matter Sniper, the scarf reminds me of the one I used when I did airsoft. I’m a great shot! I should get back into that.


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